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Risotto For Early Summer

INGREDIENTS

  • 450ml vegetable stock, made with half a stock cube
  • 4 asparagus spears, trimmed (trimmings kept) and each spear sliced into 4
  • 200-250g/8-9oz peas in the pod, about 85g/3oz podded (pods kept)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 85ml risotto rice
  • 3 tbsp white wine (keep the rest of the bottle chilling)
  • A small handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • A small handful of rocket and a few parmesan shavings, to serve :-)
Risotto For Early Summer

METHOD

  • Simmer the stock for 10 minutes with the asparagus trimmings and pea pods; these will intensify the flavour.
  • Strain into a jug.
  • While the stock is simmering, heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a wide, shallow pan.
  • Tip in the onion and fry gently for 5-6 minutes, stirring, until it is soft but not coloured.
  • Add the rice and continue to stir and cook for 1-2 minutes until the grains become see-through at the edges and begin to make 'clicking' noises.
  • Add the wine (it should bubble and evaporate), then 50ml/2fl oz of the stock.
  • Stir well and simmer gently until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Now pour in another 50ml/2fl oz stock and stir again.
  • Continue adding the stock and stirring.
  • After about 7 minutes, when half the stock has been added, swirl in the asparagus and peas.
  • Carry on adding stock in small amounts until it has been absorbed; this will take about 10 more minutes.
  • Now the risotto should be a little wet and sloppy and the rice tender with a nutty bite.
  • Turn off the heat, then gently stir in the grated parmesan, taste and season.
  • You may need only a little black pepper as the parmesan and stock are both salty.
  • Spoon the risotto on to a plate, top with the rocket, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and scatter with parmesan shavings.
  • Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy your meal.